Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 653–665 | Cite as

Psychological distress among marginalized women in the outskirts of Beirut: Determinants and association with health perception

  • Bassem R. Saab
  • Mylene T. Salem
  • Monique Chaaya
  • Oona M. R. Campbell


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of psychological distress (PD) and its determinants in under-privileged women in the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon. A cross-sectional survey of 1,869 ever-married women aged 15–59 was carried out. PD levels were determined using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (Appendix). Health status, living conditonns, social support, and physical symptoms as reported by women were recorded. Logistic regression was used to test the independent effect of each variable on PD. 46.6% of women had PD. Psychologically distressed women had more children, less education, lower income, less social support, an uncomfortable relationship with their husband, participated in the labor force and were more likely to reside in a predominantly Moslem community. Reporting a health or living problem were significant predictors of PD. The presence of limb, back and stomach pain, and headache were associated with PD. Compared to similar populations in other countries, our sample had a high prevalence of mental distress.


Lebanon Poverty Psychological distress Women health 


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Copyright information

© Oxford University Press on behalf of the New York Academy of Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bassem R. Saab
    • 1
  • Mylene T. Salem
    • 2
  • Monique Chaaya
    • 2
  • Oona M. R. Campbell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Department of Infectious and Tropical DiscasesLondon School of Hygione and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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